MELBOURNE: The number of people streaming music is expected to almost treble over the next four years and brands can tap into this trend to create an emotional connection with consumers, an industry figure has said.

As managing director at Tuned Global, a white music label service, Con Raso has a vested interest in this area, but, writing in B&T, he argued that music streaming was now "a key part of the customer engagement ecosystem".

Tuned Global pulled together a range of statistics in support of his case. Thus, for example, Nielsen found that six in ten (61%) of people who stream music are more likely to recommend brands to a friend.

And, according to Spotify, streamers are twice as likely to be stronger brand advocates and to feel emotionally connected to a brand and 1.5 times more likely to make positive rational associations.

"Music acts as a personal identifier for each individual and can create a 'halo effect' for a brand that associates with it, because it creates an emotional connection with consumers through the power of music they love," Raso explained. That makes it a potentially potent marketing tool.

Brands have an "enormous opportunity" to develop this area, not least as few consumers are paying for subscriptions to streaming services, preferring instead to take the free service and put up with ads.

Brands could, for example, reward high-value customers by "offering a music streaming experience that offers them the music they want, when they want it, for free".

Raso's vision of the future is certainly ambitious – "a new engagement platform, fully integrated into your digital ecosystem and connected to your Customer Relationship Management system to create a long term, valuable and rewarding relationship with your customer, by offering them high value content".

A retailer could offer a week of free music on a branded radio app to consumers purchasing specific products, or a service provider could offer a year's worth of access to its own music streaming solution when a customer opens a new account or renews their subscription.

"Marketers who do not recognise that music has a major part to play in their content marketing strategies are … missing the opportunity to make a quantifiable and effective impact on their business," Raso stated.

Data sourced from B&T; additional content by Warc staff